October 21, 2017

Archives for May 31, 2017

Colorado Court of Appeals: Condominium Association Failed to Satisfy Statutory Requirements to Amend Declaration

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Tyra Summit Condominiums II Association, Inc. v. Clancy on Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act—Amendment of Declaration—Notice Requirement.

The Clancys (owners) own a condominium unit at the Tyra Summit Condominiums II (Tyra II). Tyra II is administered by the Tyra Summit Condominiums II Association, Inc.. The Association is run by a Board of Managers. The Association was established by a declaration recorded in 1983 and subsequent amendments. In 2016, the Association sought judicial approval of its attempt to amend the Declaration, which effectively rewrote the 1983 Declaration.

The owners objected to the amendment, arguing that the Association failed to meet certain statutory requirements and that the amendment improperly changed their allocated interests. The district court approved the amendment.

On appeal, the owners asserted that the district court erred in approving the amendment because the Association failed to provide sufficient notice of the meeting at which the amendment was discussed. The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act requires associations to discuss proposed amendments during at least one meeting of the association and contains specific notice requirements. The court of appeals found that the record did not support the court’s finding that adequate notice of the meeting where the proposed amendment was discussed was given to the owners.

As the prevailing party on appeal, the owners were entitled to their attorney fees pursuant to the Act.

The order was reversed and the case was remanded.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Mutual Benefit Doctrine Supports Union Member’s Claim for Workers’ Compensation Coverage While at CBA Discussion Meeting

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Pueblo County, Colorado v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office on Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Workers’ Compensation—Injury at a Union Meeting—Mutual Benefit Doctrine.

Claimant was president of the local union. She worked for Pueblo County (employer). Union membership is required for workers in a bargaining unit, and union dues are deducted from workers’ paychecks. Participation in union meetings is voluntary. Claimant stayed after work for a union meeting, which was held immediately after claimant clocked out for the day and took place in a conference room in the building in which she worked. The purpose of the meeting was to review and revise the new collective bargaining agreement.

After the meeting, claimant walked to the adjacent parking lot where she normally parked for work. While getting in her car, she slipped on ice and injured herself. She filed a workers’ compensation claim for her medical expenses. An administrative law judge (ALJ) denied and dismissed the claim, finding the claimant “was not in the course and scope of her employment at the time of her injury.” The Industrial Claim Appeals Office (Panel) disagreed, finding the union activities were “sufficiently incidental” to claimant’s work “as to be properly considered as arising out of and in the course of employment.” It remanded to the ALJ to determine benefits. On remand, the ALJ ordered employer to pay all of claimant’s reasonable, necessary, and related medical expenses. The Panel affirmed.

On appeal, employer argued that the Panel erred in holding that the post-work injury sustained immediately following claimant’s attendance at a union meeting arose out of and in the course of employment. An injury arises out of employment when it originates in an employee’s work-related functions and is sufficiently related to those functions to be considered part of employment. It is not essential that an employee be engaged in an obligatory job function.

This was a case of first impression in Colorado but has been addressed in a number of other states. In general, injuries sustained during “unilateral union activities conferring, if any, only a remote or indirect benefit upon the employing enterprise” are not covered. However, the leading treatise recognizes a trend toward finding a mutual employer-employee benefit in actions of union officers. The court of appeals concluded that union activity cases in Colorado should be analyzed under the mutual benefit doctrine to determine compensability. This doctrine requires courts to examine the circumstances of each case to determine whether a union activity is of mutual benefit to the employer and employee. Here, where a union officer participated in a union meeting that served to facilitate ongoing negotiations between the union and employer concerning a new collective bargaining agreement, there was mutual benefit to employer and employee. Further, once mutual benefit is established, the location of the injury is not determinative. Accordingly, the injuries sustained were compensable.

The order was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 5/30/2017

On Tuesday, May 30, 2017, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and four unpublished opinions.

United States v. Schubert

United States v. Bell

Chan v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

Lomack v. Farris

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, some published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.